Today, Ivy Larson, author of Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Program that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel, shares an awesome recipe she swears helped her lose pregnancy weight. We can’t wait to make it because it includes every veggie under the sun and sounds delish!
I have been following an anti-inflammatory “Clean Cuisine” style diet for 15 years now, ever since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). The diet I follow not only helps me control the inflammation that flares up my MS symptoms, but it also helps me keep the pounds off. So, when I had my son 12 years ago, I had no problem losing the baby weight. Yes, I had youth on my side, but I also credit my Clean Cuisine diet and a special bean soup my mom made me. Now that I am 37 years old, most of my girlfriends are just now starting to have their children, and I always share my special soup recipe with them—because it is a lot easier to give someone a soup recipe than an entire healthy eating plan to follow! The soup is a jump-starter that makes the post-baby weight-loss doable, tasty and easy.
Over the years I have revamped the original soup recipe my mom made me and friends have added to it, too. The soup has become sort of like that game “telephone” where you start with one thing and end up with something very different. But the two things that have remained constant are the vegetables and beans.
What Makes Beans Such a Slimming Superfood?
I knew for a long time that beans were rich in detoxifying fiber and that fiber was good for filling you up and helping with weight-loss. But I had no idea until I started writing my fourth book, Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Program that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel, that beans were also rich in what I consider to be a miracle substance called “resistant starch.”
Resistant starch is somewhat comparable to soluble fiber and insoluble fiber—it is sort of like a third type of fiber, and it actually resists digestion, meaning the calories in resistant starch are much less likely than the calories in other foods to be stored as fat. And trust me, this is a really good perk after having a baby!
And, because resistant starch is only partially digested yet even more filling than simple starches like sugar and flour that are completely digested, you end up with lower blood sugar levels, fewer insulin spikes and a better ability to burn fat following a resistant starch-rich meal. In other words, after eating a big bowl of my Clean Cuisine bean soup, you will feel like you’ve eaten more than you really have due to the taste and volume satisfaction resistant starch brings. But—and here’s the great part— your body will treat this dish as if you’ve eaten less because only a small portion of the food is metabolized. If your body needs more energy than can be absorbed from the resistant starch it has no choice but to burn fat!
So here it is … the recipe that will help you get back into your pre-baby jeans and still have enough time to bond with your precious new baby.
Time-Saving Farmers Market Vegetable Soup Recipe
1 ½ pints cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp plus 3 tsp cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, divided
Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, finely chopped
4 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
1 package (16 ounces) frozen cauliflower florets
1 box (9 ounces) frozen cut green beans
2 cans (15 ounces each) BPA-free canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 c frozen petite peas
4 c baby organic spinach leaves
5 c organic vegetable broth
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
¼ c fresh lemon juice
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 15 minutes. Let cool, then mash with a potato masher.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat; add the garlic, onion, carrots and celery and sauté 10 minutes, until vegetables are very soft. Add the fresh thyme and season with salt to taste. Stir in the frozen cauliflower and green beans and sauté 4 to 5 minutes. Add the beans and peas and sauté 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, 1 minute. Add the mashed roasted tomatoes.
3. Add the vegetable broth. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil; cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning. Let soup sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
That pretty much sounds delicious. Do you love an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink soup recipe, too? Do you credit post-baby weight-loss to any one food? —Erin